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We just wrapped our first call to plan my first attempt at a marathon.  To say I am mildly terrified is an understatement.  Before now, I had removed a marathon from my bucket list.  Never because of desire or will to reach that goal.  In fact, people would ask me all the time if I would ever consider completing a marathon.  I could never bring myself to say the actual word no, so my answer was simple — “It is just a logistical problem”.

However, once I attended the ceremony to be present when Pacers received the Disability Awareness Award from the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities and the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the idea emerged out of a simple dinner conversation.

There are so many moving parts to get this done and things to consider.   I worry about increasing my distance, but then I realize I have already done that.  I worry about having to join additional events, but I realize I have already done that.  I realize I have to commit to training among other life priorities, which I have also done. I worry about having enough volunteers for training runs and on race day, but I know those have always come when I have needed them.

What I fear more than anything is failure.   What if I do all of this work and it is still not enough.  What if I let down everyone who has helped me, been there for me, or rooted for me.  Most importantly, what if I let down myself.  I have built my life, personal and professional, around the belief in myself that if I work hard enough, approach each situation with a positive attitude, and exhibit the right combination of stubbornness and determination, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.  But what if, in this instance, my spirit is strong enough but my body is not?  I can’t go too far down this road.  It’s a dark place to be.  It does not fit anything I am or who I want to become.

So as with all instances where life throws a curve ball — or to use a racing metaphor, a pothole — I must pivot to the things I can control.  Those are:

  1. My drive to accomplish this goal and the attitude with which I approach it.
  2. How much and what kind of training and preparation — both mental and physical — I do.
  3. What I eat and when I sleep. (Both are key to running.)
  4. How awesome it will feel to cross the finish line in something I had once thought was impossible.

It is this last one that lights the fire brewing inside.  The chance to have the finisher experience I have not yet attained.

For all of these reasons, I put faith in myself and the team of people with whom I have chosen to surround myself (my tribe), and I step out on blind faith, that I will be a better person, in every way, on the other side.

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